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PIP TeensSocialMediaandPrivacy FINAL

PIP TeensSocialMediaandPrivacy FINAL

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Published by Zohar Urian

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Published by: Zohar Urian on May 26, 2013
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MAY 21, 2013
Teens, Social Media, and Privacy
Youth are sharing more personal information on their profiles than in the past. Theychoose private settings for Facebook, but share with large networks of friends. Most teen social media users say they
very concerned about third-party access totheir data.
Mary Madden
Senior Researcher, Pew Internet Project 
Amanda Lenhart
Senior Researcher, Director of Teens and Technology Initiatives, Pew Internet Project 
Sandra Cortesi
Fellow, Director of the Youth and Media Project,Berkman Center for Internet & Society 
Urs Gasser
Executive Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society 
Maeve Duggan
Research Assistant, Pew Internet Project 
Aaron Smith
Senior Researcher, Pew Internet Project 
Meredith Beaton
Research Assistant, Youth and Media Project,Berkman Center for Internet & Society 
Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
1615 L St., N.W., Suite 700Washington, D.C. 20036Media Inquiries:202.419.4500
.org 2
 Summary of Findings
Teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites;
indeed the sitesthemselves are designed to encourage the sharing of information and the expansion of networks.However, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media. Instead, they take an array of stepsto restrict and prune their profiles, and their patterns of reputation management on social media varygreatly according to their gender and network size. These are among the key findings from a new reportbased on a survey of 802 teens that exami
nes teens’ privacy management on social media sites
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in thepast. For the five different types of personal information that we measured in both 2006 and2012, each is significantly more likely to be shared by teen social media users in our most recentsurvey.
Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.
The typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has79 followers.
Focus group discussions with teens show that they have waning enthusiasm for Facebook,
disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful “drama,” but
they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing.
60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private, and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings.
Teens take other steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks, and mask information
they don’t want
others to know; 74% of teen social media users have deleted people from theirnetwork or friends list.
Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their
data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned.
On Facebook, increasing network size goes hand in hand with network variety, informationsharing, and personal information management.
In broad measures of online experience, teens are considerably more likely to report positiveexperiences than negative ones. For instance, 52% of online teens say they have had anexperience online that made them feel good about themselves.
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on socialmedia sites than they did in the past.
Teens are increasingly sharing personal information on social media sites, a trend that is likely driven bythe evolution of the platforms teens use as well as changing norms around sharing
. A typical teen’s
MySpace profile from 2006 was quite different in form and function from the 2006 version of Facebookas well as the Facebook profiles that have become a hallmark of teenage life today. For the five different
We use
“social media site” a
s the umbrella term that refers to social networking sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn,and Google Plus) as well as to information- and media-sharing sites that users may not think of in terms of 
networking such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. “Teen social media users” are teens who use any social mediasite(s). When we use “social networking sites” or “social networking sites and Twitter,” it
will be to maintain theoriginal wording when reporting survey results.
.org 3types of personal information that we measured in both 2006 and 2012, each is significantly more likelyto be shared by teen social media users on the profile they use most often.
91% post a
photo of themselves
, up from 79% in 2006.
71% post their
school name
, up from 49%.
71% post the
city or town where they live
, up from 61%.
53% post their
email address
, up from 29%.
20% post their
cell phone number
, up from 2%.In addition to the trend questions, we also asked five new questions about the profile teens use mostoften and found that among teen social media users:
92% post their
real name
to the profile they use most often.
84% post their
, such as movies, music, or books they like.
82% post their
birth date
62% post their
relationship status
24% post
videos of themselves
(Chart below)
Given that Facebook is now the dominant platform for teens, and a first and last name is required when creatingan account, this is undoubtedly driving the nearly universal trend among teen social media users to say they posttheir real name to the profile they use most often. Fake accounts with fake names can still be created on
Facebook, but the practice is explicitly forbidden in Facebook’s Terms of Service.

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